This character in Christian mythology has a bad rap. It so foolish that grown men and women believe and fear the devil. Facepalm. Despite the fiction, I’ve been thinking recently…..

Is/was the devil such a bad guy? I mean by our (atheist) standards. I know we have plenty of biblical experts among us – so I ask you - Besides tempting Jesus to turn away from god (we would’ve done the same thing), did the devil actually perform any unsavory acts that we (atheist) would deem bad/ unethical/ immoral/ objectionable?

Did he ever kill anyone? Cheat anyone? Did he ever plague a community? Or -Did he ever influence humans to perform bad acts (kill, steal, cheat etc.)? Beside his opposition to god, what’s he done that so bad? If anything, we know the God of Abraham is guilty of countless human atrocities. What about the devil?
I mean, maybe he has done some bad stuff – I don’t know – I haven’t gone through the bible with a fine tooth comb. Would you mine drinking a beer with this guy?

(note – biased devil worshipers need not respond    :)

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His torturing of Job (in which Yahweh was complicit) was pretty sadistic.

Ok.  I'll look that story up.

I think I rememeber that one. That's where god and the devil have a bet on job's devotion and the devil has to get job to 'use the lord's name in vain' or something, which results in the devil destroying this man's life, killing his family, and leaving him a broken wreck but the guy still worships the god that allowed all of it to happen just to win a stupid bet. How can you trust a guy who will screw you over just for kicks and to win a bet?

Eoganacht - that ain't all, lemme tell ya --

During the process, Job's wife and children were killed, as part of Job's torture, but in the end, Job is allowed to find a new wife and have more children, and the way the story's written, that's supposed to make it all OK!

Your puppy's dead - here's a new puppy! OK?

pax vobiscum

I didn’t think Satan was ever mentioned in the OT. I guess he is in the Book of Job. Do Jews believe in the devil?

Satan comes from Shai-tan, which iirc, means "adversary," in Hebrew. Make sure you don't confuse him with Lucifer, who was the god of light for the Etruscans.

While he has a spot in Hebrew myth, I'm pretty sure that his role is different from the incarnation of evil that NT Xtianity has cast him in.

So the Etruscans were the origin of Lucifer? That makes sense, as the Etruscans were from Italy, they and Greece, home of Prometheus, likely traded folklore.

Good to know, thanks for that.

Which makes me wonder where the word, "Lux," - which is Latin - came from in Genesis of the OT, as the name of the ruins of an ancient city where Jacob, the Sleazy spent the night? Ideas, anyone?

pax vobiscum

Out side of a city called Luxor (and the casual game of the same name) the only other Lux reference I know is the dish-soap my mom used to get when I was growing-up.. LOL

I wrote it wrong Rob, it should have been, "Luz," from Gen 29:19, "And he called the name of that place Beth-El: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first."

But my question remains the same, how did a Latin word get into the early OT?

pax vobiscum,

It is a very different role.  Satan is a servant of YHWH and he is not evil.  He is quality control, and his job is to test the worthiness of those who are to be around YHWH or in his favor.  The book of Job is Job proving his worth and getting rewarded, not about God just wanting to one-up Satan.  Of course God could have just gone "well, being 'all knowing' and everything I can personally vouch for Job". 

Job is actually a really interesting book, because it incorporates Israel's pagan past and includes the other gods in the divine council.  But at this point, the remnant of Judah was strictly monotheist.  However the language used clearly mark it as a later book.

John - RE: "The book of Job is Job proving his worth and getting rewarded"

Could you possibly tell us, John, how Job's wife and children got rewarded?

pax vobiscum,

And again, John, with all due respect, he lost his claim to omniscience when he failed to see that Adam and Eve would brunch on fruit salad, and that his creations would piss him off to the extent that he would have to drown them, or that he would have to "come down," to see, in the case of the Tower of Bable fable, that Man was trying to use a Summerian Ziggurat (known in Sumerian as the "gate of heaven") to reach heaven, when he, of all supernatural entities, should know that you just can't get there from here.

The god you seem to be defending, falls far short of my expectations.

pax vobiscum,


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